Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Lending Literacy: a book drive for the University School for Young Children

Friday, May 7, 2021
The books collected during the book drive were wrapped and presented to the classes at the University School for Young Children.
Photo submitted by Madison Mingione

Madison Mingione, psychology major and senior at Southeast, organized a book drive during the spring semester to collect reading materials for the University School for Young Children (USYC).

As part of her internship class for early childhood development, CF480, Mingione said each student is required to come up with a capstone community project while putting in internship hours at the USYC.

While reading to a child at the USYC, Mingione said she noticed the worn condition of the books. According to Mingione, her intern supervisor said if the USYC wants new books, they have to go out and buy them themselves or have them donated. Mingione said she decided then to organize a book drive for the school.

“These kids love to read,” Mingione said. “And being that age between one and five, they can get a little rough with these books. So, having new books coming in about once a year allows the teachers to rotate out the books that they receive.”

Mingione said working at the USYC has been a great experience. She said she has developed a deeper appreciation for all the aspects of a teacher's job during her time at the school. For anyone interested in working with children, she said the USYC provides an excellent opportunity for interns to learn those skills.

Mingione said she has always had an interest in working with children. She said she feels like she can “get on their level.”

“I don't really like to interact with adults, so I thought, ‘Oh, let me work with children,’’' Mingione said. “If I can somehow pave the way for their education and help them find a better future, I think that's worthwhile.”

Mingione said the book drive collected between 75 and 100 books. Spread across the USYC’s eight classrooms, she said they were able to give between eight and 10 new books to each class.

Mingione graduates at the end of the spring semester and hopes to become a child life specialist, working in a hospital to help young children going through medical treatment to learn and play as well as understand their treatments.

Mingione said she hopes the book drive is something future interns will keep running year after year.